ForneyLife

Pumpkin Carrot Bars

Posted in Food, Recipes by Sarah on January 31, 2011

I originally made these delicious pumpkin carrot bars back in October and November, when pumpkin was in abundance and Fall flavors were whirling about.  This weekend I decided I needed a little pumpkin treat, though.  In all honesty, I could eat pumpkin-flavored anything just about any time of year.  I adapted this recipe from FitSugar and I think I have made it enough times now to start playing with the recipe a little bit.  I may be posting some successful experiments here in the future!

Let’s start with the equipment:  to make these pumpkin carrot bars, you will need two bowls (1 small, 1 large), a 15 x 10 baking dish, a food processor or blender, and an electric mixer (a wooden spoon and elbow grease will do in a pinch!).

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin (pumpkin pie filling is ok too)
  • 2/3 – 1 cup. finely shredded carrots (Note:  this tends to be less than half a bag of baby carrots)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Don't Forget To Preheat!

Spray your 15 x 10 pan with cooking spray.

Totally Shredded

Shred the carrots using a food processor or blender.  I like to do this first, as I’m getting my ingredients out, so that the flow of adding ingredients isn’t interrupted later.

For the dry ingredients:  in a small bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.

Dry Ingredients

For the wet ingredients:  In a larger bowl, beat together the sugar, brown sugar, and Earth Balance with an electric mixer until the mix is crumbly.  Then, add the eggs, egg whites, pumpkin, and carrots.  Beat together until well-blended.

Wet Ingredients

Post-Mixing

Wet Ingredients

Pre-Mixing

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix together well.

All Togther Now

Spread the mix onto your greased pan and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  I tend to use a smaller pan (9 x 9) and find that I need about 45 minutes total cooking time.

Tasty Results

Fresh Outta The Oven!

Exciting Options

Like the beaches in France, topping is optional for these bars.  The cream-cheese based topping consists of 4 oz. light cream cheese (softened), 1/4 c. sugar, 1 Tbsp. skim milk, blended together.  The topping goes on the unbaked pumpkin carrot bars.  I go au naturel with these babies most of the time, though 😉

I have some ideas for other ingredients to toss into the bars too, like raisins, cranberries, walnuts, and pecans.

This tasty delight feels like much more of an indulgence than it really is.  The pumpkin and carrots add so much moisture and richness that you can go easy on the butter and the sugar, and still get a burst of fall-inspired flavor with every bite!

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